Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a member of the parsley or carrot family, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). As its name indicates it is characterized by its size and may grow to 15 to 20 feet in height.
Giant hogweed is a tenacious perennial, which is difficult to eradicate. It is currently on the federal noxious weed list. Its placement on the list is due to its potential menace as a public health hazard. It has been spotted in various locations in the old city.
If you spot small giant hogweed plants, they can be dug-out, but care should be taken to remove much of the root stalk. This can be difficult and unpleasant. Always wear protective clothing and avoid getting the sap on your skin. Mowing serves only to stimulate budding on the perennating root stalk, but might be successful if done consistently and persistently enough to starve the rootstalk. If you find a large plant, please call the City of Nanaimo Parks Maintenance at 250-755-7515 and report to the Horticultural officer Susan Zaric. You can find more information by reading this short information sheet from the City of Nanaimo.
Let’s work to rid our neighbourhood of this pesky and troublesome plant.